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Manny Kellough: Speaking of Jazz (East to West Coast)

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Manny Kellough: Speaking of Jazz (East to West Coast)
If you are looking for some small group jazz that is relaxed but swinging, Manny Kellough, Billy Preston's drummer, has put together a nice package of standards and originals for your listening enjoyment. While the ensemble work is, to put it plainly, not tight, the instrumental solos are good and, at times, outstanding. Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker is especially rewarding on "Generosity" and "Secret Love." Michael Thomas on trumpet is a bit less compelling. His biting sound recalls the asperity if not the fluency of Red Rodney. "Nothing from Nothing" is quite different, but fun, concluding with Kellough's spoken dedication, "For you Billy. Miss you, man." Julian Hipkins makes his way through "I Thought About You," which starts in five, but which transitions smoothly into four on the final chorus. The best instrumental track is probably "Happy Swing in F," a nice shuffle that also features Williams Knowles on piano. Thomas takes a nice melodic chorus on "When I Fall in Love," accompanied by vocalist Ashley Kellough, whose singing shows promise. Azure McCall takes over vocal chores on "How High The Moon," a tune that somehow never really gets old, with a tasty drum solo by Kellough. Things slow down considerably, but pleasantly, on McCall's "East of the Sun," something for a late hour, and appropriately reflective.

The band is cool, and it swings, even if a bit unevenly across tracks. You might want to hear more from Manny Kellough on the drum kit. Some other time, maybe.

Track Listing

Generosity; Secret Love; Nothing From Nothing; Katrina Ballerina; I Thought About You;Smile; Happy Swing in "F"; When I Fall in Love; How High the Moon; East of the Sun; Foggy Day.

Personnel

Manny Kellough: drums; William Knowles: piano; Wes Biles: bass; Antonio Parker: saxophone; Julian Hipkins: voice / vocals; Azure McCall: voice / vocals; Gary Brown - Bass: bass; Ashley Kellough: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Michael Thomas, Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Album information

Title: Speaking of Jazz (East to West Coast) | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: MKJ "So Die Kie" Music

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